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TIFF Lightbox deserves its own Oscar
February 17, 2011 | Karen von Hahn | Toronto Star

"The list of nominees for this year’s Oscars is nothing if not thorough. In the Best Picture category alone there are 10 nominees. And yet in my view, as self-designated voting member of the non-existent Hollywood (North) Foreign Press, there is one significant oversight. The award for Best New Place to See a Movie (and Grab a Drink, Take in an Exhibition and Get Dinner While You’re At It) should go to… our very own TIFF Bell Lightbox

It’s funny, but after a decade of very public fund-raising, with the Toronto International Film Festival’s brass repeatedly making its case for a “home” for the festival, when it finally opened in September to great public fanfare, complete with rapper K’naan, free cupcakes and a bouncy castle on King Street, none of us really knew what to make of the Lightbox. Was it the Festival’s offices? Some sort of film education centre/museum? Were ordinary citizens who weren’t in the film industry permitted inside its perfect glass box? And if so, what exactly did one do in there?

I am proud to report that the veil has been lifted. Unlike many people I know, I finally went to see a movie there (yes, it shows movies), and the experience was so stylish and so superb that not only have I been back several times since but I fear I am developing a dangerous Lightbox addiction because now it seems I don’t want to go anywhere else. In fact it’s so good I almost didn’t write about it for fear of letting too many in on my secret."

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